Day #3 of What’s in My Drawers.

Rubber stamp and collage on paper, ©NanciHersh

One in Eight
rubber stamp and collage on paper
15″ x 12″

Two things really stuck with me following my bilateral mastectomy in 2003. The first was having the plastic surgeon come into the room before I was anesthetized and draw on my chest with a marker where he would be making the incisions. That was surreal. The second – and way more freaky thing was taking a peek (and that was literally all I could handle) at my breasts with their new tissue expanders in, but no nipples. Is this TMI?

Well, like everything else, I process life through art.  One in Eight was one of several collages on wall paper samples. This particular piece was flesh colored with a subtle reptilian crackle texture. I often used pattern paper in the series following my diagnosis and surgery, as well as a rubber stamp I created of a figure walking (journey through life) and here, a sponge stamp of a flower with the center missing. I also am part of a totem pole-  One in eight women will face a breast cancer diagnosis. The good news is that the death rate from breast cancer is decreasing, and I am still here. Thank you.

One is Eight is also featured in a book titled The Buildings and Bridges Discussion Guide: Addressing the Practical and Emotional Needs of Cancer Survivors published in 2010 by The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. It was part of a training designed to help increase frontline staff awareness of the needs of breast cancer survivors as they move through recovery. They found me through The Creative Center: Arts in Healthcare a “vibrant community of patients, survivors, seniors, artists and friends dedicated to bringing creative arts to people living with and beyond illness and through all stages of life.” Very cool.

and now it’s available from my drawers.

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